Bringing art to the people

Debbie Daniel-Smith, left, and Pete Rainey with artist Bill Burke in the window of his Ajax Ave studio/gallery.
Debbie Daniel-Smith, left, and Pete Rainey with artist Bill Burke in the window of his Ajax Ave studio/gallery.


Sharing artists' stories by creating an informative experience for the public is top of the list for Debbie Daniel-Smith.

The Arts and Heritage advisor for the Nelson City Council has been showcasing artists' work by taking guided art walks around some of the city's murals, art in windows and outdoor street art.

Councillor Pete Rainey as chair of the Community Services Committee responsible for Council's Arts Strategy, is right behind the idea.

"I think it's really great that council is getting its head around arts in the city and Debbie brings all the strands together," says Rainey. "Council is interested in art in the city, that's part of what Nelson's about, and it gives us a point of difference."

In partnership with Arts Council Nelson, Uniquely Nelson and the artists themselves, the aim is to celebrate the variety and calibre of public artworks and artists exhibiting in retail outlets.

Although Art in Windows has been running since 2001, this is the first time the work and the public have been brought together by inviting the public on tours.

Arts Council Nelson manager Lloyd Harwood is enthusiastic about the latest initiative.

"I think it is a great development which adds value to the event and meets a demand for many within the community to have more in-depth knowledge and understanding of our local artists' work."

All agree that there is interest in art from the community and all it takes is time to view and have some insight into how the artist works, what motivates them, and the mediums they work in.

"Some artists aren't good at celebrating their own stories," says Daniel-Smith. "My role is to assist." After each tour Daniel-Smith is available to talk with visitors about particular works of interest.

Daniell-Smith has chosen a selection of artists for each tour, representing a cross-section of styles and mediums.

"I'm helping profile a few artists, by no means all of the artists involved, but have chosen some diverse styles."

Manager of Founders Heritage Park, Maria Anderson has taken a Sunday tour of artists' studios in Founders and will take another tour this Sunday.

Guided Art Walks Tell me a Story: Uncover the messages in murals and street art. Meet at Nelson Provincial Museum reception. Wednesday 1.30pm.

Windows of Opportunity: Discover a fusion of art and retail with unexpected results, in Art in Windows. Meet at NCC reception. Tomorrow October 23, 10.30am and 1.30pm.

Working Artists: Meet inspired artists in their studios at Founders Heritage Park. Tour starts at the windmill. Sunday October 26, 1pm.

The Nelson Mail